Georgian A Publication of George School, Newtown, Pennsylvania
Volume 74 • Number 3 • Fall 2002
Heart and Soul: Peer Counselor and Music Promoter By Cristina Lucuski
he room is dark except for the track of multi-colored lights that dance across the performers’ faces. The wooden booths are packed and the rest of the place is standing room only. Munching on cheddar cheese Goldfish and sipping steaming cups of coffee, the crowd goes wild as the band starts its first song. This crowded but intimate coffeehouse at Bettye’s Place in Marshall Center is the setting for George School’s student-run organization called Goldfish in Java. “Music is a very important part of my life,” said Goldfish member Molly Weingart ’03, “both listening and playing, and being in Goldfish in Java gives me the avenue to share music I love with the rest of the community.” A true music lover, Molly goes to great lengths to get bands to perform at George School. “I love finding bands and asking them, or at some point begging them, to come here [to George School],” Molly said. On a more serious note, this passionate music promoter also has a more humanitarian side as a peer counselor for a student-run organization called Students Associated for Greater Empathy, or SAGE, founded in 1971. “Life can be really, really, scary and tough at times,” Molly said. “SAGE is important because it serves as a guide through those scary times. SAGE can serve as a sounding board for decisionmaking and a shoulder to lean on. It is always helpful to have someone listen to
you because they can offer help and ideas that you had not previously thought of, and that is what SAGE tries to do.” The members of this organization are specially trained to listen, give support, share information, and make referrals. SAGE schedules programs throughout the school year on issues such as divorce, eating disorders, depression, date rape, addiction, stress management, sexuality, AIDS, and problem solving. SAGE is comprised of seven girls and seven boys in their sophomore, junior and senior years. Molly has been a member of SAGE since her sophomore year. A senior SAGE member approached Molly, then a freshman, and commented on how great she would be as a member. Prospective SAGE members are selected and interviewed by current members and evaluated based on their ability to be peer counselors and maintain strict confidentiality. The exception to this confidentiality occurs in situations when good sense, caring and school policy require immediate referral. “I realized that trying to help people is something I do wherever I am and being a SAGE member would enable me to do that more,” Molly said. Throughout her time as a member, Molly has dealt with issues ranging from depression to eating disorders. “If I could accomplish just one thing in my lifetime, it would be to make the world a little better somehow; make a difference in some way,” Molly said. “There is a lot in continued on page 6
Inside this georgian
Molly Weingart ’03 stands at the ballet bar in George School’s dance studio.
Politics In the Arena
Integrity in Public Life
Seventy-five years old and plotting
Watchdog group ensures bond monies
another return to politics
are spent appropriately
Page 2, left column
Page 5, bottom article
Politics in the arena
Former County Clerk’s ElectionNight Flap Reminiscent of “Hanging Chads” Controversy
Young George School Alum Campaigns for Congress
By Carol Suplee
e’s not what many would tolerate conflicts of interest in consider your typical government or on Wall Street, and politician, and that is just we have too many of them.” He fine with him. points out that his incumbent Meet Tim Reece ’94, a 26-yearopponent has accepted over old investment banker who $27,000 this year in campaign jumped into the 2002 Bucks contributions from the pharmaCounty Congressional election as ceutical industry that he regulates. the Democratic candidate just two “That’s just plain wrong,” he said. weeks before the May primary. He Tim also stands behind his hadn’t considered running for belief that there are too many Congress until he realized that his career politicians. He feels strongparty didn’t have a candidate. ly that “politics should not be a “I thought it was appalling that career in and of itself,” but that an incumbent could run unchalpolitics should be pursued when lenged, that a coronation could an opportunity, calling or a cause occur,” explains Tim, referring to introduces itself. his Republican opponent, Jim “Too many people in Greenwood, who has 10 years of Washington have a lust for longeviexperience on Capitol Hill. “If you ty and are out there to promote don’t have any opposition, you and prolong political careers,” aren’t going to have adds Tim. He would much of a debate. That like to see strict term was one reason why I limits for congressmen decided to take the and pledges to serve plunge and enter the no more than four race.” terms if he is elected. Determined to As Tim unveils his offer voters not only a ideas for the future of choice in this election, politics, he credits his but also change, Tim is time spent at George calling for reforms in School and the spirit campaign financing, of free inquiry he corporate accountabilfound there as critical ity, early education, to his education. A job creation, and tax former soccer policies. and lacrosse player at Tim Reece ’94 holds a degree Tim thinks there the school, he adds in history from Colgate are a lot of unusual that the disciplines of University and currently aspects to his camhard work and teamworks as a financial analyst paign for Congress, work combined with at an investment bank in which began with a the goal of always New York. plan to gather enough doing your best, write-in votes to get him into the inspired his leadership skills. race. Supported by volunteers, “I think athletics give you a Tim was able to gather 2,268 chance to be in a competitive votes in just two weeks — more environment,” he said. “There are than double the 1,000 he needed rules you have to play by. to qualify as a Democratic candiWinning at any cost can be a date. However, this isn’t the only problem. At George School, I was thing that sets him apart from his fortunate to have great coaches opponent or even other politiin Scott Spence and Paul cians. Tim wants to change the Machemer. I learned to play hard system of big money politics in but to play fair.” Washington, DC. Firmly believing Today, Tim is offering his that special interest money is corBucks County neighbors a fair rupting government, Tim has election. pledged to support his entire campaign with only $4,000 — all from his own pocket. *Editor's Note: At press time we learned “I’m trying to highlight the that Tim garnered 68,703 votes, about 37% issue,” said Tim. “We shouldn’t of the vote.
hile Florida poll workers were agonizing over “hanging chads” in the last presidential election, Judy Woodward ’45 was enmeshed in her own election-night flap that would later capture the front page of The Wall Street Journal. That her own imbroglio was newsworthy ended any similarity between the election in Bernalillo County, NM, and the fiasco in Florida. “It was a computer programming glitch and as soon as the early results were posted on the website, we spotted the error. We didn’t get hysterical,” Judy said. She marshaled the County Clerk’s information technology resources and corrected the problem in short order. Judy was then about to conclude an eight-year stint as Bernalillo County Clerk, having won the primary and general elections in 1992 and 1996. Although term-limit law precluded a third run at the clerk’s job, she has been biding her time, “playing in the dirt” (gardening), speaking, sculpting, cooking, playing tennis, and plotting a return to politics. She plans to run in the Democratic primary for the County Commissioner position in 2004. “I suppose I will have to confront the age thing,” Judy quipped. “But my health is good. Why not run?” Her immersion in a life of service began to take shape when she was invited to work with an innovative healing school environment for retarded children. After her work was completed, she stayed on as a devoted volunteer. Her reputation in that field led to her participation in designing the first solely volunteerstaffed probation program in the country. Judy successfully directed that groundbreaking state program, serving for five years. Meanwhile, time was running out for New Mexico under a federal order to establish a separate women’s prison. State officials were scrambling to avoid a federal takeover. They leased a longvacant hot springs resort hotel and set about converting it. Judy
was hired to open the prison and serve as superintendent. “The site was totally unsuitable,” Judy said, “but the design of the program known as a milieu therapy environmental community was phenomenal. Every member of the staff had to be involved in the life of the community. It was workable and exciting.”
Judy Woodward ’45 says that her most fulfilling line of service has been to her family of five children and two grandchildren.
Judy moved on to take over the state’s restitution program in which convicted felons were interviewed and evaluated to prepare plans to compensate their victims. It was, as Judy described it, “a magnificent job,” but in 1980, after overhearing state workers’ callous comments about a tragic and deadly state prison riot, she realized she had lost her zest for prison work. She completed the restitution contract, then headed off to Alaska. She worked as a construction camp cook and returned to New Mexico five months later feeling refreshed. She was soon lobbying for corrections and mental health causes before the state legislature. When her older sister Betty fell ill with cancer, Judy was her devoted companion and nurse. In 1982, Judy went back to college and graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1987. She then completed 33 graduate hours in
By Kimberly Miller Robbins
continued on page 6
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Politics in the neighborhood
Dad’s Words Heeded An Ocean Away
Teacher Goes Beyond Her Civic Duty to Vote
By Cristina Lucuski
By Marie Duess
he competition was intense. In the final moments before the winner was announced, he felt a nervous panic surround him. He was running against three candidates who were all very qualified — maybe even more so. His father’s words, “Michael, you can do it!” filled his head. After Michael Leigh ’03 heard the verdict that he had won the election for the new student council president, he beamed — and then let out a huge sigh of relief. “I was extremely nervous the whole period when the election was going on,” Michael said. “I really wanted to be elected and the competition looked very strong.” For Michael, being president was “something that I always wanted to be and slowly dreamed of.” His father’s advice simply encouraged him to make that dream a reality. Michael, a Korean boarding student from Qingdao, China, is a senior at George School. In addition to being student council president, he is a prefect in
Campbell dormitory and is participating in three varsity sports: football, swimming and lacrosse. “Mike is friendly, fun, enthusiastic, principled, insightful, and articulate. He reaches out to everyone. As a member of the Peer Group Revision Team, he was thoughtful and responsible,” said Stephanie McBride, English department head and Peer Group Revision Team advisor. “While in the process of selecting new leaders — a responsibility of the Revision Team — he was eager to ensure that our slate of new leaders represented many of the different groups in the school.” Student council secretary Kim Schreiber ’04 talks about Michael’s being selected as president. “He’s friends with many different people,” she said. “He hears what other people are saying, not just his group of friends, but the school as a whole.” Although the current student council just took office at the beginning of the school year and issues have yet to be delved into, Dean of Students James
welve years ago, Maria Crosman, who teaches religion and health at George School, fulfilled her civic duty by going to the polls to cast her vote. The privilege resulted in Maria’s being selected judge of elections the following year — a position that she has held ever since. “I was a little concerned when I arrived to vote that campaign literature was being given out too close to the entrance of the polls,” Maria explained, “and when I complained, it was suggested that I run for judge of elections as that polling place had just lost theirs.” Maria agreed, and after being elected as a write-in, began serving at the polling place located in Neshaminy Middle School in Langhorne, PA. She is the only judge of elections there.
continued on page 6
In addition to teaching religion and health at George School, Maria Crosman is a quilter, professional baker, Quaker minister, and co-op supervisor.
One of Michael Leigh’s ’03 favorite things about George School is Carter Sio’s woodshop class. He has designed a coffee table and a chair, and is currently working on a sculptural clock project.
“I didn’t expect to be doing it 12 years later,” Maria said, “but there just aren’t enough people to run the polls, and I find it very interesting. It gives me an opportunity to meet people in the community.” During a trip to the archives in Washington, DC, several years ago, Maria paid special attention
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to the long set of voting rights that are exhibited there. It hit home just how essential her elected office is and that what she does — if only for two days each year — is really very important. “In order for a democracy to function properly, the country needs volunteers,” Maria explained. “This offers me the chance to fulfill my obligation to the community and to the country.” Maria attends training sessions in Doylestown, PA, once a year, where she and other judges of election are given information about any changes related to voting laws. She believes that the county is continually working to improve the system. Although the voting process is not related to her religion or health curricula, Maria does find that it comes up in class from time to time, especially when her classes discuss community service. Some classes from George School will visit the polls on Election Day. “It gives them a chance to begin to understand what’s involved in running an election,” she said. As judge of elections, Maria — who must live in the community she serves — oversees the polling place to make sure everything runs smoothly on Election Day. She also assists voters who come across a problem when they report to the polls. If a voter’s name is not registered, it’s up to Maria to figure out why. “Sometimes people will have just moved or changed their names,” she said. “I have to decide how to handle those situations.” Election Day is long — Maria starts work at 6:30 a.m. and usually isn’t home until 10 p.m. But she feels that being judge of elections is a unique opportunity to fulfill her civic duty and she’s not complaining. This is probably a good idea considering that complaining is what got her the job in the first place.
in the neighborhood
then & now
Growing Up On the George School Campus
A Politician In the Making by Marie Duess and Cristina Lucuski
ogan Axelson ’04 is one of those rare teenagers who believes his civic duty as a US citizen includes getting involved in political primaries. Logan began volunteering last February for Ed Rendell, former mayor of Philadelphia, in his run for governor of Pennsylvania. Rendell’s campaign issues included education, economic development and healthcare in Pennsylvania. “I believed that Rendell was the right man for the job. He had more plans for the future,” Logan said. After seeing an article about Rendell in the paper and getting really excited about it, Logan’s mother encouraged him to volunteer with the campaign — so he did.
Logan learned how to staff a phone bank and he was immediately off to work calling people and promoting Rendell’s campaign. “It’s a lot of fun,” Logan explained. “It’s always nice to have people listen to what you have to say. Some do change their minds if you present a good enough argument.” His interest in politics stems from his parents’ involvement in the borough council in his hometown of Yardley, PA, and his dad’s campaign for state representative in the ’80s. In 2000, Logan’s interest in campaigning was invoked for the first time in the Democratic primaries when he volunteered with his father for Bill Bradley’s campaign for president. “We were
Jean Walton ’31
Kingdon Swayne ’37
daughter of George Walton, Head of School 1912-48 “We climbed many trees in different locations; felt the thrill of danger as we crossed the Neshaminy on narrow passageways on the railroad trestle; made up stories to explain the large, flat, beautiful stone we found in a secluded spot in the woods north of the house.”
son of Amelia Swayne, Music/English teacher 1914-17 and Norman Swayne, Chemistry/ Physics teacher 1909-51 “A favorite pastime was roller skating. In those days we had metal wheels, which made a considerable racket as we skated down the sidewalks.”
“Roller skating was a constant joy. I liked starting on the far eastern boundary and skating the whole length of the campus, ending with the dramatic run down the hill to the railroad station.” “Another memory is of the tunnels connecting at least some of the main buildings. The tunnels connected Main building itself with Drayton and Retford. Wherever there were tunnels, some of the Walton sisters crawled through them.”
“Kenneth [Kingdon’s brother] was a patient searcher for four-leaf clovers. His greatest discovery was a small patch on the baseball field, probably a single plant, that contained nothing but the four-leaf variety.” “Perhaps my favorite memory of life on the campus was of the baseball games we used to play on the grassy lawn between the football field on the south and Eastwood and Wayside on the north.”
Christopher Kerr Lydia Spence
Teachers describe Logan Axelson ’04 as being an articulate, thoughtful and knowledgeable team player with interesting ideas and strong analytical skills.
He felt so strongly about Rendell’s potential as governor that he was willing to stand outside supermarkets on cold winter days to solicit signatures for a petition to put Rendell on the ballot for May’s primary. In addition, Logan spent his spring break making phone calls to increase awareness of the campaign, attended political rallies and worked hard to recruit others to volunteer in the campaign.
trudging through the snow in New Hampshire in February,” Logan explained. “But it was really fun.” Right now, Logan is focused on his academic career as a high school junior, but someday he will put his interest in politics into action. “I’ve always had politics in the back of my mind,” he said. “And it’s something I will definitely think about more seriously in the future.”
daughter of Scott Spence, Dean of Faculty/Director of Studies “On a really hot day we went to the creek. We went fly-fishing and our dog Lucy found a big deer hole and it was really fun.” “I love exploring the dorms right after the students leave. One time I found a Barbie and a pair of earrings. I turned the earrings into necklaces.” “I love sledding on campus where the pond used to be and crosscountry skiing.”
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son of Danny Kerr, History teacher “I like to bike around on campus a lot. Sometimes, down the hill by the Neshaminy creek.” “Harvest Weekend is a lot of fun. I like to sit around the campfire and eat s’mores. They have a pumpkin contest and all that and it’s really fun.” “We played capture the flag on campus the other night with other faculty kids. It was really fun. We used flashlights and we spotted people when they ran through the woods.”
Integrity in public life
Committee Measures Fitness of Bar Applicants By Diana Cutshall
n a time when scandal and corruption are capturing national attention, one man’s job is to ensure that honesty, integrity and trustworthiness are preserved in the legal profession. Attorney Hal Haveson’s role is to be sure that the applicants to the New Jersey Bar Association possess these traits, as well as exhibit a professional commitment to the judicial process and the administration of justice. Hal, a member of the Class of 1969, serves on the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Committee on Character, which reviews the fitness of all candidates applying for admission to the bar. The overarching goals of the Committee on Character are to promote the public interest and protect the integrity of the legal profession by evaluating the applicants and recommending only those most qualified for admission. Members are appointed by the Supreme Court to a three-year term. “However,” says Hal, who was chosen in 1993, “that period of service A firm believer in Quaker education, Hal can be extended at the discretion of Haveson ’69 is pleased that his daughter the Supreme Court.” As a co-chair of Alyssa ’06, a graduate of Newtown Friends School, is a freshman at George the committee, Hal is now one of School this fall. seven attorneys who sit on a state
panel that sets policy and serves as an appellate review committee. “My Quaker connection undoubtedly helped me grow and learn in ways that affect my service to the Committee on Character,” he said. “It taught me the importance of being mindful of the value that each individual brings to any given situation.” Preceding his appointment to the Committee on Character, Hal spent seven years on the New Jersey District Ethics Committee, another Supreme Court appointment. In that position, he investigated and heard complaints on attorney behavior and governed attorney discipline. Since 1993, he also has served as a trustee of the Mercer County Bar Association, for which he is this year’s vice president. In two years, he will be president. Hal was admitted to the New Jersey bar shortly after his graduation from Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law in 1976, just prior to his accepting a position in the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. Over the next nine years, he worked his way up through the ranks to become head of its homicide unit. Then, in 1985, he and an associate left the prosecutor’s office to open Haveson and Otis on Nassau Street in Princeton, NJ, across from the university. Haveson and Otis is a general practice law firm with an emphasis on criminal and municipal court work, a throwback to Hal’s days as a prosecutor. Other vestiges of Hal’s past are his continuing desire to run marathons, though his law practice, pro bono activities and involvement in Quaker education leave him little free time for training. A graduate of Newtown Friends School and George School, Hal is a co-opted member of the Newtown Friends School Committee and serves on its policy committee.
Deplorable School Conditions Prompt Action By Carol J. Suplee
hen Andy Rivinus ’72 set foot inside a local Oregon school a few years ago and saw the deterioration, he felt disgusted and concerned. He knew that much-needed bond issues had been failing consistently at the polls. He also knew by personal experience that the students and staff were the ones who were suffering the most and something had to be done. “My interest in the schools is based on the excellent support my kids got in the school system here in our district,” he said. “My wife is also a teacher here. As the schools fell into a state of disrepair, the students and staff paid the price. Since three of those students and one member of that staff are my family, I had a vested interest in trying to improve the facilities.” He decided to become a volunteer for the Canby (Oregon) Unified School District Bond Oversight Committee, a watchdog group making sure that bond monies, voted through referenda, are spent properly and judiciously. The deterioration of the
schools was an insidious process. Voters had lost trust in the district’s ability to spend bond money according to the requirements of the various bond referenda. All too often, portions of those funds had been diverted to other uses. There was nothing essentially sinister about this conduct. According to Andy, school budgets everywhere have been traditionally tight and his district was no exception. When unexpected repairs or other financial emergencies cropped up, the school board found the pool of capital dollars an easy target. “Consequently,” Andy said, “the district would have to go back to the voters for money to complete projects they had already approved. A number of levies were turned down. The schools began to fall into a state of disrepair and conditions became deplorable.” In 1994, the district compiled a list of crucial repair and improvement projects, but the resulting $31 million proposed bond levy was defeated several times despite
intense campaigning. The new superintendent promised that if the bond levy were approved, she would create a Bond Oversight Committee to monitor expenditures. The levy was finally approved in the fall of 1999. “We are in the third summer of the process,” Andy said, “and we expect to complete the last of the projects in the fall of 2003. Then we can report to the voters that we have done a good job on their behalf.” Andy’s role as chair of the committee is to act as facilitator ensuring that the meetings are conducted in an orderly way and that the members stay focused on the task at hand. “In business, I test each decision with a question to myself,” he said. “If this was my business and it were my money, what would I do? In the case of the schools, the answer was easy. I would not ask my own employees to work under those conditions. How could I ask the students and staff to do so?” Andy’s experience at George School convinced him that every-
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Andy Rivinus ’72, in the recycling business for Weyerhaeuser Corporation, purchases recycled newspapers and magazines for re-manufacturing into new newspaper.
one can make the world a better place, in large and small ways, each according to his own vision and methods. “I would not say that I have found mine,” Andy said. “I have only found bits and pieces. The total picture will grow as I move on into the next phase of my life.”
Educators for social change
Cynthia Crooks Carpenter ’47 Helps Parents Relate to Adolescents By Diana Cutshall
ynthia (Cyd) Crooks Carpenter entered George School in the fall of 1946 as a senior, at the invitation of faculty members William and Marie Burton. The three had met earlier at Hampton Institute, established in Virginia to address the educational and spiritual needs of former slaves. Later, when Bucks County Quakers decided to show their commitment to racial equality by admitting a black student to George School, it was Cyd who came to mind.
As a student at George School, Cyd took William Cleveland’s class in psychology and learned about personality types. Her English teacher, Ernestine Robinson, taught her how to express herself in writing. From others, she heard about workcamps and public service. “They all helped shape what I have done throughout my life, but perhaps their greatest influence is that I continue to seek peaceful solutions for conflict.” Following her graduation from George School in 1947, Cyd attended Earlham College and earned a B.S. in biology, with a minor in psychology. In 1978, she graduated from George Williams College in Illinois with an M.S. in counseling psychology.
Today, Cyd is head of her own counseling and education service, Personality Skills Consultants, in Chula Vista, CA. She recently held a workshop on adolescent growth and development at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in San Diego. “Doing these classes is my retirement mission, to get parents and their children talking in a different way as the children move into puberty.” Another retirement goal is to play the piano again, an activity she regrets giving up when she left Jamaica. “My plan,” she says, “is to pick up where I left off at 14.”
“I may not have known how much courage I needed,” she says now, Cynthia Crooks Carpenter ’47 was a featured speaker on a panel on Alumni Weekend 2002 about the history of diversity at George School.
Only 15 years old at the time, Cyd was the first in her family to leave Jamaica. She was the first black student to enter and graduate from George School. “I may not have known how much courage I needed,” she says now, “but I did understand the importance of what I was doing.” Fifty years later, she learned that back then a small number of families pulled their children out rather than have them come into contact with black people. That she prospered, she says, was a tribute to her parents, her upbringing and George School. “My departure [from Jamaica to attend George School] was the subject of many family conferences,” she explains, “held every Sunday morning over breakfast. My parents had me practice how I would behave in different situations and we discussed what it meant to leave home.”
“but I did understand the importance of what I was doing.” During the 30 years between degrees, Cyd taught at a summer peace camp in Milwaukee, then went to Chicago through the interns-in-industry program of the American Friends Service Committee. She stayed in Chicago and worked for 15 years as a school guidance counselor. In 1970, she, her husband and children became members of the Third Unitarian Church of Chicago. Within the church, Cyd joined a group of visionaries seeking to provide children with a new kind of education called About Your Sexuality. “In those days,” explains Cyd, “it took a lot of courage for a church to teach sexuality, but I am very grateful now for that training.”
Heart and Soul…cont’d from cover
the world that is not right and to know that I somehow made a small impact would make me happy.” Molly has learned a lot from her involvement with SAGE and is particularly grateful to have Joanne Moeller-Moon continuing as an advisor to the group since she is so knowledgeable about the issues that affect adolescents. Joanne’s background as a consulting therapist with an expertise in eating disorders and cognitive behavioral change makes her a very well-qualified advisor to SAGE. “Joanne is our goddess,” Molly explained. “She is the voice of reason, expertise and wisdom. She guides us and informs us, usually about ways of handling situations. I’ve called her late at night, frantic, and she has always known exactly what to do.” Molly gives her all to everything she does whether it be counseling her peers or promoting music. “She’s strong and assertive but she doesn’t have to be forceful,” Joanne said. “She has her own loving, guiding way and people are just drawn to her for that. Molly is an amazing young woman who has already made a difference in the world and will continue to do so!”
Dad’s Words…cont’d from page 3
Former County Clerk’s…cont’d from page 2
Grumbach is pleased with student council’s role in the past. “Last year, the student council was very helpful as we drafted a new cell phone policy, post 9/11,” James said. “This was a rare event: changing a policy during the school year and consulting student council for its input.” Michael is looking forward to what lies ahead for him as president. “I’m sure there will be tons of stuff that I would need to take care of in order to meet what other students want and need,” he said. “I will be very busy!”
Spanish, Mexican and New Mexican history. “I didn’t complete the graduate degree,” Judy said. “I ran for office instead.” Judy credits George School for many positive influences and exceptional teachers such as Walter Mohr and Jack Hollister. “But the most important gift George School gave us,” Judy said, “was to recognize our own distinctive individuality, a sense of self.” At 75, Judy Woodward is still moving on, contributing her accumulated experience and wisdom to her community, guided by a well-tested “sense of self.”
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Educators for social change
Chuck Esser ’66 — Waging Global Peace by Diana Cutshall
huck Esser’s soft voice and light-hearted laugh do not fit with the usual image of a fighter. Yet, for almost 40 years, he has led countless children and adults in the struggle for social change. Today, his stunning list of achievements offers incontrovertible proof of his commitment to justice and peace. “I learned social consciousness in the 1960s, while I was a student at George School,” he says with a chuckle. “It was a formative time in history, when the civil rights movement was active. My parents were not Quaker, so George School really challenged me to think about myself and the world in new ways.” During the summer following his graduation in 1966, Chuck worked with the American Friends Service Committee and participated in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Chicago. Over the next four years, as a student at Earlham College and Waseda University in Tokyo, he led protests in the US and Japan against the Vietnam War, challenged and changed the Lutheran church’s position on conscientious objectors and helped establish Movement for a New Society, a group promoting nonviolence through personal change. In 1972, Chuck became a family and counseling educator and, between then and now, has led more than 100 workshops in the US, Europe and Asia. Roughly 40 of them have occurred during the last decade, including a seminar in Korea on listening and racism and a program in Poland on youth liberation. He also led two All for One, One for All conferences in Hungary, attended by counselors from Eastern and Western Europe, including people from Serbia, Romania and Croatia. Last year, with the American Friends Service Committee and as a delegate of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends and United to End Racism (a program run by the international community of re-evaluation counselors), Chuck went to Durban, South Africa, for the United Nations World Conference Against Racism. “I wanted to play what role I could in reminding people how good they are, that old hurts can be acknowledged but don’t need to distract us from our common
goals,” he explains. “Although much of the media focus in Durban was on the discord, that was not my experience there. Many of us were united in hope and we realized we are not alone. We will end racism.” After September 11, Chuck and his associates in United to End Racism conducted more than 40 workshops in New York, listening and teaching listening skills to families of victims of the World Trade Center bombing. “People need to be able to listen to each other rather than just tell their own point of view. That is the only way the hurts of racism can be healed,” he says with conviction. “People can’t get new ideas unless they rid themselves of the history of that impact.”
Today, Chuck’s greatest passion is working with pre-school children. At the Philadelphia Community School and Family Center he founded in 1979, he spends several days each week in the classroom. His work is designed to help children and parents free themselves from the accumulated stress of negative experience. After 23 years of operation, the school is now recognized as an international training ground for interns interested in using the resources and process of re-evaluation counseling to help families. “I’m very proud of what such a small group has been able to create. The kids we first taught are now adults and have become amazing community leaders.”
“People need to be able to listen to each other
rather than just tell their own point of view. That is the only way the hurts of racism can be healed,”…
Learn how George School alumni answered the fall 2002 Friendship and Social Life eQuiz.
How alumni use the Internet to keep in touch with friends.
Pamela Suppa Dalton ’72 One of my classmates turned out to be conducting research in an area that was very similar to mine; his articles were published with his email address and so I emailed him and asked, “Did you graduate from GS in 1972?” And he wrote back enthusiastically, “Yes!”
Philip T. Lynes ’65 [I] renewed contact with a German exchange student via the Internet around the 30th reunion. The following year he contacted me to see if he and his wife could visit us. Two years later we visited them in Germany.
Judith McIlvain Lewis ’64 Sharing small events and happenings frequently helps friends and family members feel as if they are a part of each other’s lives, especially if they are a distance apart. Being active, even virtually, in a person’s life is more meaningful than just hearing about a person’s life every so often.
Sandy Ermentrout Rotenberg ’60 [Email has] become much easier than letters, and more practical than phone calls, since I’m usually at work or out dancing during normal phoning times. Chuck Esser ’66 and his United to End Racism co-worker from Zimbabwe are dedicated to eliminating racism in the world.
Georgian • Page 7 G e o r g e S c h o o l F a l l 2 0 0 2
NOTE: Pages removed from this document to protect the privacy of GS alumni. Alumni may login to the alumni community at http://alumni.georgeschool.org to view the full version of this issue.
That’s What Friends Are For… The fall survey focused on friendship and social life. One hundred and sixteen alumni responded to the website survey. The following is a sampling of their responses. For complete results of the fall 2002 survey, visit the George School website at www.georgeschool.org and click on “gs café,” and then “eQuiz Highlights and Results.”
WHERE TO? The most popular activities alumni participated in with friends were going out to eat and having a friend or two over at their homes — both were tied with a whopping 106 responses. Two other popular activities were going out for a movie with 79 responses and attending musical performances with 77 responses.
Alumni Weekend Sixty-five percent of alumni reported that reunions were important in keeping in touch with GS friends.
I HAVE A PLAN When it comes to planning social
activities, 45 percent of alumni like
Alumni identified the three most popular ways of maintaining friendships as being:
to come up with ideas and have everyone pitch in and help out. An
eating out home movies music
ambitious 20 percent like to
1 Sending emails
organize the entire get-together and invite their friends.
2 Making phone calls 3 Arranging special get-togethers
Keeping in Touch eQuiz results show that most alumni surveyed still keep in touch with fellow GSers.
These are listed in order of importance. Respondents were asked to select as many as were applicable.
Volume 74 • Number 3 • Fall 2002
IN THIS ISSUE Peer Counselor and Music Promoter.....1 Former County Clerk’s Election ..............2 Alum Campaigns for Congress ................2 New Student Council President...............3 Teacher is Judge of Elections ...................3 A Politician In the Making .........................4 Growing Up On Campus ...........................4 Quality Control Lawyer...............................5 Monitoring Bond Monies...........................5 Helping Families Relate..............................6 Waging Global Peace ..................................7 Class Notes ......................................................8 eQuiz Highlights .........................................16
Cristina Lucuski, Editor Georgian@georgeschool.org 215-579-6568 © 2002 George School Design: Turnaround Marketing Communications
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